Our Guide to Wellness: Find Your Way to Optimal Health


Marin County tops the lists for longevity, but it is also one of healthiest places to live in the country. Why? Well, we’d like to say it’s because of the talents of the health and wellness providers. Here’s our guide to all things healthy.

10 Major Medical Breakthroughs — and What They Could Mean for You

Medical Innovations

This time a year ago, news about a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan began circulating. What would soon become a cataclysmic pandemic — and the year’s defining public health event — was, at the time, hardly a blip on the radar here in the United States.

But in the following weeks, as the coronavirus pandemic began sweeping the globe, it pushed with it the boundaries of medical innovation. The world’s researchers have spent much of the past year laser-focused on developing a Covid-19 vaccine, which, now that it’s here, doesn’t send us straight back to 2019, but does bring hope of the pandemic’s end and a return to normal life. In the meantime, laboratories have been busy bringing rapid diagnostic tests to the market to help slow the virus’ spread and medical professionals have been studying the potential long-term health effects that Covid-19 could have on survivors.

Still, amid these extraordinary times, medical professionals have remained committed to making advances in the research and treatment of other significant global health problems, from depression to heart disease, that are overshadowed by a pandemic but still pressing. They’ve pioneered a new treatment for kids with dangerous peanut allergies and are developing a blood test that could detect Alzheimer’s disease before it destroys the brain.

Here’s a look at 10 major medical breakthroughs from the past year, and what they could mean for you and your family. Read more.

Comprehensive Care From San Francisco Surgical

Partner Content

SF Surgical
Vanessa Talbott, Md, Facs, T. Philip Chung, Md, Fascrs, Michelle Li, Md, Facs, Michael Abel, Md, Fascrs, Laurence Yee, Md, Fascrs (as pictured from left to right)

San Francisco Surgical is San Francisco’s premier surgical group specializing in colorectal, general and laparoscopic surgery. We provide comprehensive care ranging from the management of complex abdominal and gastrointestinal conditions to colorectal cancer screening. The scope of our practice includes treatment of abdominal cancers, inflammatory bowel disease, gallbladder disorders, gastroesophageal reflux, hernias, endocrine disease and anorectal problems. Our surgeons are pioneers in laparoscopic abdominal surgery and treatment of hemorrhoids, anorectal fistulas and pilonidal disease. The practice was established in 1939, and we take pride in our history of surgical excellence and leadership. We are proud of our specialty training and our dedication to patient care. Members of our staff speak Chinese and Tagalog.

3838 California St, Suite 616, San Francisco, 415.668.0411
1100 Van Ness, Suite 1040, San Francisco, 415.923.3020
1580 Valencia St, Suite 607, San Francisco, 415.213.7971

Be Kind to Your Mind Virtual Event: Mental Health in a Pandemic

Now more than ever it’s important that we take care of ourselves, and this means taking care of our mental health. For our latest webinar, we are excited to bring you an expert panel of mental health thought leaders who have stepped forward to openly share their personal stories, and dedicated professionals who bring awareness and treat those with mental differences.

Together we will look at how mental health care has changed during the pandemic, and offer tips and suggestions on what you can do to be kind to your mind in a world full of stressors. Join us for an interactive event with presentations from each speaker followed by a discussion and Q&A session, led by questions from you, our audience! Read more.

Love Your Look With Belle Marin Aesthetic Medicine

Partner Content

Belle Marin Aesthetic
Dr. Jamali, Stephanie Reeder Practice Manager, Danielle Davis Patient Coordinator, Victoria Gruszkiewicz Aesthetician.

You Deserve To LOVE Your Look. Lines, wrinkles and fat bulges are optional, no longer an inevitable and irreversible part of the aging process! Thanks to advancements in aesthetic technologies, you can tighten skin, reduce that muffin top and fit into a smaller jeans size, and lift and tighten your jowls and crepey neck skin, all without surgery or extensive downtime. Belle Marin Aesthetic Medicine is driven to provide you with next-level results for every aspect of your appearance. Shouldn’t you entrust your vitality to the best in the business? Best-in-class treatments at Belle Marin Aesthetic Medicine: PDO Thread Lift, CoolSculpting® non-invasive fat reduction, CoolTone™ non-invasive muscle toning, Halo™ laser skin resurfacing, BBL™ HERO (a state-of-the-art IPL photofacial), Belle Transform (the no-downtime TCA chemical peel), PRP Facial and PRP Hair Restoration, Cellfina® cellulite treatment, Kybella®, Chemical Peels, Clinical Facials.

250 E. Blithedale Ave, Suite B, Mill Valley
415.887.8718 [email protected]

Local Medical Experts Explain Why Biomarkers Offer the Best Roadmap to Optimal Health

Medical Biomarkers

While most of us will agree that our health is our most valuable asset in life, how many of us are truly living in an optimal state of health? Are you relying on annual exams and basic bloodwork as a path to longevity and good health? Do you know your risk factors or the triggers that are potentially fueling future disease?

“While traditional medicine has been important in the prevention of heart attacks and strokes and lowering blood pressure, the overall preventive aspect of medicine has been very weak,” explains Eric Verdin, MD, CEO + President of the Buck Institute. “We need to stop the idea that you are considered healthy until you are suddenly sick or have a catastrophic event when we know there is gradation. We need to identify who is at risk very early and why. This is why biomarkers are important tools to be employed to allow us to monitor our health.”Biomarkers measure different aspects of your condition, revealing where you are in your trajectory of health. They can measure the presence or progress of disease, the effects of treatment, and can be good predictors of what the future may hold, so a healthcare provider can intervene aggressively when needed.

“This approach will usher in a different era of medicine which will be much more preventative and more focused on who is at risk,” adds Dr. Verdin. We conferred with a group of experts in various areas of health to get the latest cutting-edge information on key markers, important testing, screenings and vital information that you may want to discuss with your own healthcare provider. Read more.

FamilyCare Allergy and Asthma

Partner Content

Family Care Allergy
Dr. Juline N. Caraballo Md, Dr. Christine Royer, Md and Dr. Maria Petrick Md Facaai-faaaai, President

Allergy, Asthma and Clinical Immunology Care in Marin County. With over 35 years of service and experience to the North Bay medical community, FamilyCare Allergy and Asthma recently opened a new local office in Marin County-San Rafael. FamilyCare’s board-certified physicians apply front-line, medically proven diagnosis and treatment solutions to improve their patient’s quality of life at every stage. Dr’s Maria Petrick MD FACAAI-FAAAAI, Juline Caraballo MD, and our newest associate Dr. Christine Royer MD, enable FamilyCare Allergy and Asthma to expand its hours and services to the community, including food allergy diagnosis, testing and treatment. They also offer treatment options which may significantly shorten the traditional allergy desensitization time-line for patients where time or distance are obstacles to treatment. FamilyCare Allergy and Asthma accepts virtually all major insurance plans, including Medi-Cal and Medicare. Offices also in Santa Rosa and Petaluma.

4000 Civic Center Dr, Suite 300, San Rafael
415.847.4022, 707.525.0211

MarinHealth Has a COVID-19 Check Up

Hospitals throughout Marin have been confronted with an array of financial challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) had to be located and provided for staff, facilities needed to be furnished with new supplies, and programs to assist the community had to be created. Although hospitals would normally be able to recover the money spent on these efforts with outpatient procedures, decreased patient volume has left them with drastically reduced revenue in recent months. We spoke to MarinHealth CEO Lee Domanico about how the healthcare organization is traversing this new landscape. Read more.

Plastic Surgery Specialists

Partner Content

Plastic Surgery Specialists
Trent D. Douglas, MD, Stanley G. Poulos, MD and Yngvar Hvistendahl, MD

We all know 2020 has been a year like no other. Despite months of lockdown and the inconvenience of quarantine, PSS has continued to grow. We have our amazing patients and community to thank for this enduring success. Our practice is based on the fundamental principle that we deliver exceptional results and a concierge level service for every patient. As we look to 2021, PSS plans to expand our staff, facilities, and treatment offerings to serve you better. In addition to our robust surgical practice, our weight loss programs deliver predictably great results and the PSS Beauty Club provides affordable monthly payments for our most popular services including injectables and laser treatments. Spa PSS will be expanding in early 2021 to make keeping up with your beauty routine easier than ever. As always, safety is our top priority and we continuously update and evolve our practices to ensure the safety of our patients and staff. As we turn the corner into 2021, stay safe, healthy, and happily looking your best with your partners in beauty at PSS.

350 Bon Air Road, Suite 300, Greenbrae

4 Local Trainers’ Cardiovascular Fitness Tips and Favorite Heart-Healthy Foods


Since February is American Heart Month, we decided to check in with local trainers of varying disciplines to get the scoop on their top workouts and meals for ultimate heart health. Read more.

Marin Home Care

Partner Content

Laura Belluomini
Laura Belluomini, MSN, RN, CCM

Marin Home Care is independently owned and operated by Marin County resident Laura Belluomini. Marin Home Care is a comprehensive home care agency offering both medical and non-medical home care services exclusively serving Marin residents. We provide a concierge-style service and work as your matchmaker to fit your care needs. Whether you require live-in or part-time care, on a temporary or long-term basis, we gladly provide it all. Marin Home Care is non-franchised, licensed, bonded, and insured. All of our caregivers are registered with the Department of Social Services and thoroughly screened. Our Medical Home Health services include Private Registered Nurses providing medication management and more. We’re passionately committed to helping seniors in Marin County age in place. We would love the opportunity to assist your loved ones with their home care needs. Please call us at 415.712.1917 or learn more at marinhomecare.com

1640 Tiburon Blvd, Suite 16, Tiburon
415.712.1917 Hco #214700021, Hha #55000493

Six Healing Foods with Medicinal Superpowers

Medicinal Foods

My parents used to say “listen to your elders”as if they had some kind of knowledge only their generation understood. But maybe there’s something to that wisdom, especially when it comes to healing the body. After all, Hippocrates, the Greek physician and “father of Western medicine,” said, “Let medicine be thy food and let food be thy medicine.” Science has proven what our elders have known for thousands of years: that certain foods can naturally help prevent and treat disease. Here are six healing foods with medicinal superpowers. Read more.

Get the Highest Level of Orthopedic and Spine Care in the North Bay

Partner Content

Cal Orthopedics
Pictured (Back Row From Left): Nathan Ehmer, D.o., Jonathan Goff, MD, Pinak Shukla, MD, Mark Lawler, MD, Jamal Shillingford, MD, Brian Su, MD Pictured (Front Row From Left): Michael Oechsel, Md, Holly Kelly, Md, Ernest Sponzilli, MD, Paul Kim, MD, Ramana Naidu, MD, Daniel Solomon, MD, David Goltz, MD

CALIFORNIA ORTHOPEDICS & SPINE is Marin’s largest orthopedic and spine practice. We provide leading edge care through fellowship trained physicians and surgeons specializing in sports medicine, shoulder, hand and wrist, foot and ankle, knee and hip joint replacement, fracture care, pain management, and spinal surgery. With 24/7 appointment requests and two convenient locations in Larkspur and Novato, we’ve made it simple to visit our specialists. We offer seamless integration of clinical care, digital X-Ray, MRI, durable medical equipment, injection therapy, and physical therapy. Our mission continues to focus on “excellence in motion,” which begins with exploring all conservative options before pursuing invasive procedures. If surgery is necessary, we use the most innovative and minimally invasive techniques available to get you back to your personal goals as quickly as possible. Appointment inquiries can be made online 24/7 at caorthospine.com or by contacting our call center at 415.927.5300 any time of day.

18 Bon Air Road, 2 Bon Air Road, Suite 120, Larkspur
7100 Redwood Blvd, Suite 200, Novato

How to Get Screened for Preventative Health

Preventative Health
Illustration by IStock/Grivina

Life is full of surprises, not all of them happy. Don’t want to get blindsided by common health ailments? Follow these science-based screening guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Read more.

UCSF Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: Expert Physicians, Natural Results. Trust Your Face to a Facial Plastic Surgeon

Partner Content

Andrea Park, MD, P. Daniel Knott, MD and Rahul Seth, MD

If you are ready for facial surgery to achieve your ideal look, consider Facial Plastic Surgery at UCSF. Double board-certified facial plastic surgeons Drs. Andrea Park, Rahul Seth, and P. Daniel Knott offer their patients state of the art rejuvenative and reconstructive treatments at one of the top medical centers in the world. UCSF embodies ethical, excellent, personalized, and caring treatments in the safest and most professional of settings. Our practice is dedicated only to the face and neck and offers every treatment option. Bolstered by cutting edge research and fueled by recognized leadership and reputable results in national and international facial plastic surgery societies, find out how our team can help you.

2320 Sutter St, Suite 102,
San Francisco, 415.353.9500

Marin: The Healthiest County in the State

Healthy Marin
Illustration: Istock/Natalie

After a slip in 2017, Marin County has been deemed the healthiest county in the state, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program, which compares health and longevity for counties’ residents within each state and nationwide. For the ninth time in 10 years Marin scored highest withinCalifornia for life expectancy, with San Mateo and Santa Clara counties close behind.

Marin also received the state’s highest scores for Length of Life and Clinical Care. Length of life is partially assessed by a premature death metric; in this regard the county’s score was the third lowest of any in the nation. However, housing affordability, income inequality, high rates of substance use and racial disparities in health were noted as weaknesses: among 58 California counties, Marin ranked 39th in residents’ housing cost burden, 54th in income inequality and 48th in high rates of binge drinking. The results also show Marin’s African American and Latino children are four and eight times more likely, respectively, to live in poverty than their white counterparts. Another area of concern was Marin’s aging population — the oldest of any in the state. It’s estimated a third of our residents will be 60 or older by 2030. Read more.

The Eye Institute of Marin

Partner Content

Dr Najafi-Tagol
Kathryn Najafi-Tagol, MD

AS MARIN’S FELLOWSHIP-TRAINED glaucoma and laser surgery specialist, Kathryn Najafi-Tagol is unique among Bay Area physicians. A graduate of UCLA and USC Doheny Eye Institute, and board-certified ophthalmologist, she launched Eye Institute of Marin in 2004. With a staff of experienced doctors operating and adhering to the strictest Covid protocols and using the latest diagnostics and lasers, Dr. Najafi provides comprehensive eye care, treating glaucoma, cataract, and dry eyes among other eye conditions. Eye Institute of Marin has grown based on years of experience, and exemplary care for patients. Dr. Najafi’s commitment
to excellence is reflected by community’s respect and referrals. “Studies show annual screening and early detection are key to keeping one’s eyesight bright.” Dr. Najafi is a big believer in prevention.

4000 Civic Center Dr, Suite 200a, San Rafael

Cosmetic Procedures Without the Cutting: A Guide to Noninvasive Treatments

Noninvasive beauty treatments
Illustration by Ellen Weinstein.

The cutting edge in cosmetic procedures nowadays is … not cutting. As all kinds of face and body treatments grow more popular year after year, it’s the noninvasive ones, like Botox and facial fillers, that are outpacing surgical measures two to one, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

It makes sense. Noninvasive methods and “cosmeceutical” products cause less discomfort and involve far less (if any) downtime than going under the knife. These procedures may also be more affordable than surgery, but make no mistake: you can still shell out a pretty penny, as it were. In fact, we calculated that if you went all in this year for a full suite of non- surgical upgrades, from replenishing hair on your head to tightening your bottom, you could easily spend more than $30,000. And while some treatments are one-and-done, for others you’re looking at shelling out more for maintenance later on.

We polled doctors and other providers on the estimated time and price of treatments tackling the most troublesome face and body issues reported by women and men — wrinkles, blemishes, sagging, fat, cellulite, unwanted hair loss or growth. Which treatments work? Are they worth the money? Science has verified the efficacy of some (like Retin-A and Kybella); other methods have made their case by satisfying customers. Whatever method you’re considering, check with your doctor first; it also wouldn’t hurt to consult trusted friends who’ve had it done. Read more.

Real Skin Care by Real Skin Doctors

Partner Content

Milly Valley Dermatology
Eunice Song MD, Haydee Knott MD and Alison Kang MD

Mill Valley Dermatology and Marin Skin, founded by Cleveland Clinic-trained Dr. Haydee Knott, welcome two additional board-certified dermatologists: Dr. Alison Kang and Dr. Eunice Song. Do you live in Marin County? Why settle for a provider without dermatology board certification? Trust your skin to true skin experts. Our practice is unique because no one is handed off to a physician extender or non-core physician; every patient is treated by a board-certified dermatologist for consultations, injectables, and laser treatments. Dr. Eunice Song attended the University of Minnesota, Yale University, University of Connecticut and UC San Francisco to complete her medical training. Dr. Alison Kang’s educational background includes Johns Hopkins University, Saint Louis University, UCLA and UC Davis. She is board- certified and fellowship trained in both Dermatology and Mohs Surgery. We are available to see you safely in person or via Video call.

THE SERVICES: Juvederm, Restylane, Botox, chemical peels, fractional skin resurfacing, IPL, PRP, Microneedling, Laser Hair Removal, Blepharoplasty, Ear piercing/repair

WHAT TO EXPECT: State-of-the-art cosmetic dermatology performed personally by a board-certified dermatologist.

655 Redwood Hwy, Suite 100, Mill Valley
415.634.8411 Millvalleydermatology.com
Marin Skin Medical Inc
619 East Blithedale Ave, Suite a, Mill Valley